Top 10 – 8/15/2021

A look back to reflect on progress — the Hotel Arvon and Celtic Cowboy “before” photo in 2012 of the historic Arvon Block; GFDA exhibiting at Alberta energy trade show in 2013 to attract the attention of Canadian companies; and, exhibiting at food industry trade show in Chicago in 2014 to attract the attention of food processing companies. Perseverance produces results!

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 14 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) With the perseverance of great partners, the Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls has been working hard since 2011. Through 2020, the partnership, a fully accredited National Main Street organization, has helped produce real results. From 2011-2020, 119 businesses opened downtown, $ 61,334,106 in building permits were issued in the downtown master plan area, and volunteers donated 267,991 hours to downtown organizations. From 2010-2019 property values in the Business Improvement District increased 61%. Coins for a Cause, the Downtown Safety Alliance, the pedlet program, ArtsFest Montana, and Music on the Mo are just a few of the many programs that have helped makes things happen downtown. GFDA is proud to have been able to provide $2,572,559 in gap and bridge loans downtown, over 20 free brownfield property assessments, and over $800,000 in brownfield cleanup grants downtown. THANK YOU to the entrepreneurs, businesses, developers, and fantastic partners who have made this possible! As we all like to say, we’re just getting started! Save the date for Invest Downtown Great Falls, October 28 from 10:00 AM – Noon in The Newberry!

2) This week we submitted two proposals for new business attraction projects and continued to work on several others. When businesses look at our community, we help them asses the fit and gather details they might not be able to ascertain from a google search. This year we are seeing a higher level of inquiry than we’ve ever seen before. In FY 21, we generated 169 new leads, 213 new projects, and 583 companies to our pipeline.

3) How important is the Cascade County population growth announced by the U.S. Census this week? From 1970-2010 the population in Cascade County shrunk by 477. Yes, it went up and down over those 40 years, but the net growth was negative. From 2010-2020 the population in Cascade County (which is the Great Falls MSA) grew by 3,087. The 3.8% decade growth was a modest 0.4% average annual growth rate. We’d like to get this up to 1.0% per year. We may already be there. The census count was through April 1, 2020. Join us in the Live in Great Falls marketing effort!

4) Our Loan Committee approved a $300,000 working capital loan to support the expansion of a business that has been in Cascade County for over 20 years. If your business needs assistance with financing to start, innovate or expand please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or at JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

5) Town Pump Reinvests in Great Falls Market with New Express Carwash. Check out the video announcement here! Town Pump employs over 325 team members in the Great Falls community and operates seven Town Pump Convenience Stores, eight casinos, and the Sleep Inn/MainStay Suites Hotel.

6) We had a great turn out discussing the new Downtown Great Falls TIF (Tax Increment Financing) Program with a representative from the city and several business/building owners. Read about the three programs here and view a video recording with Deputy City Attorney, Jeff Hindoien about Prevailing Wages and how that applies to the Program. If you have questions going forward with your application, please contact Christian at 406.836.0136 or CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org.

7) A couple of new Great Falls businesses are in the news. The N Thai food truck sounds delicious; see TheElectric. Carlson Q plans to open next month. Montana Apothecary and Compounding is building a 3,887 square foot building. Nourish food truck has opened a teaching kitchen and small event space downtown; see TheElectric. The electric scooter company Bird has come to Great Falls; see KRTV.

8) We are already planning GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings for September! Model Canvas/Value Proposition Design is the topic of our monthly webinar on Thursday, September 2nd. Boots to Business, our workshop for active military personnel, veterans and military families looking to transition to a life of entrepreneurship is back on Thursday and Friday, September 9 & 10. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for budding entrepreneurs is back on Thursday, September 9. And wrapping up the month is our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28.

9) Great Falls College MSU and Montana State University Northernsigned an agreement that enables student to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in Great Falls; see more info. The University of Providence partnered with the Catholic Health Association of the United States to create a Community Health Investment Certificate Program, the first of its kind in the country; see more info.

10) Last few days to help us assess market demand for more child care services in the Great Falls area. Take this brief survey then send the survey link to your employees, colleagues and friends.

11) The Montana Department of Agriculture opened a new round of Growth Through Agriculture grants and loans. This year they are using a two-step process. Initial applications are due by October 4th; finalists will submit full applications in January. We’re happy to help you walk through the process.

12) We have issued an RFP for a Housing Market Demand Assessment and an RFQ for Web Design Services. Our reach is limited, so please pass these along to personal connections and prospective consultants.

13) Congratulations to Northern Transit Inter-local (NTI) on being named the Montana Rural Transit System of the Year! See Shelby Promoter. Racine’s R Snack Shop reopened in downtown Cut Bank; see Cut Bank Pioneer Press.

14) The High Plains Financial Board elected Dave Fink of US Bank to its board. Thank you to Amanda Boutilier of JCCS, Erin Townsend of Embark FCU, and Mike Hawthorne of First Montana Bank for their many years of service on the Board! High Plains Financial is the affiliate we created to offer SBA 504 loans statewide.

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls Montana region. Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“For organisations, flexibility is a must to cope with fluctuations in demand and remain competitive, and people must be able to develop adaptable attitudes to quickly embrace evolving business conditions, new business opportunities, and shifting strategies.”
Alain Dehaze

We are HUNGRY to Grow the Great Falls regional economy, create higher wage jobs, build our tax base, improve our market competitiveness, and enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity for residents of Great Falls, Cascade County, and the entire 13-county Great Falls trade area.<

Edition 499


Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter and our GFDA 2021Q2 Quarter Index.

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available
If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org

August SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.863%; 20-year at 2.744%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.591%; and, 20-year refinance 2.787%; 25-year refinance 2.904%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Check out August’s Hot Jobs in Great Falls, a collection of open jobs that we’re marketing to people in talent attraction target markets (Seattle, Portland, etc.). These are jobs that people would relocate for. If you have a particularly high-skill, high-salary or out-of-the-box job opportunity to include in September’s blog, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org

version anytime! Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.

Top 10 – 8/8/2021

“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.“ – Thomas Edison
Entrepreneur Jeff Meiser, Owner of Mountain Wave Distillery, shows off the custom made inside/outside bar and custom front windows that open toward Central Avenue in Downtown Great Falls. The window glass should be installed soon, and work is diligently being completed on the interior.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 18 for the last five weeks celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) Joined site selection consultants for a focus on logistics at the Logistics Development Forum in Colorado. We are interested in mapping out imports/exports and mode of transportation to look at expanded transportation systems. We want to lower shipping costs for the Golden Triangle by making it possible for more services and better logistics facilities. If you’re also interested in this topic, call Jolene 406-750-4481. Two of our strategic planning consultants were speakers at the event.

2) Business Facilities ranked Montana as having the 5th best business tax climate amongst U.S. States. GFDA testified in support of the Gianforte Administration’s four areas of focus for the Economic Transformation Commission — business innovation, value-added agriculture, workforce training, and affordable housing.

3) Published our GFDA 2021Q2 Quarter Index. In our fiscal year that ended June 30th, our new business attraction lead generation account-based-marketing campaign generated 23,207 sessions on our website from 111 metro areas around the globe. It led to numerous web chats with companies interested in investing in our region. In July we added 7 new leads, worked on 11 existing leads and added 18 new companies to our CRM database. We added 7 new projects and worked on 18 existing projects. Our continued Thank You to the Salesforce Foundation for providing us free use of the outstanding Salesforce CRM platform!

4) Check out August’s Hot Jobs in Great Falls, a collection of open jobs that we’re marketing to people in talent attraction target markets (Seattle, Portland, etc.). These are jobs that people would relocate for. If you have a particularly high-skill, high-salary or out-of-the-box job opportunity to include in September’s blog, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org.

5) Thank you to NeighborWorks Montana for purchasing a $250,000 participation in our bridge loans that enabled The Arc Apartment Homes to move into construction! This week we received $1.28 million in CDFI Fund Rapid Response Program monies that will very quickly be loaned into another local project that has a financing gap challenge. We help banks and credit unions get deals done by filling gaps and providing bridges they can’t fill.

6) Fifteen building permits totaling $5,859,156 were issued last quarter for investments in downtown Great Falls. Two new businesses opened. Volunteers donated 8,845 hours downtown. There has been great movement this week on more upper-level development in Downtown Great Falls. With the completion of the Northern Lofts at 412 Central Ave, 18 more higher-end apartments in Downtown and so many more opportunities are available. If you would like to inquire about these opportunities, contact Christian at CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.836.0136.

7) The new Downtown TIF program went live this week! We will be hosting In-Person Q&A sessions on the three new downtown redevelopment Tax Increment Financing (TIF) programs: Environmental Safety, Facade Improvement, and Life-Safety Code Compliance. Tuesday, August 10, from 7:30-8:30 AM at Al Banco, 202 2nd Ave S. You can Register here, and if you have questions, please call Christian at 406.836.0136. You can view the programs and download the application at https://growgreatfallsmontana.org/downtown-tif/

8) Fiber and high speed broadband are critical infrastructure for landing deals. We had several companies participate in our monthly Development Coffee focused on broadband connectivity. If you’re interested in being part of this ongoing discussion, connect with Jolene JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org. Thank you NeighborWorks Great Falls for hosting!

9) This fire season has really put pressure on resources this year. The US Forest Service Northern Rockies Coordinating Group is looking for additional equipment to add to their Vendor Resource List. If you have this type of equipment (water tender trucks, dozer, heavy equipment), you can sign up your resources without a current contract. You have to be registered in SAM and PTAC can help get you ready. For more information, contact Shannon Clancy at SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org for the Vendor Source Memo or with any questions.

10) Do you know anyone who recently (in the past couple years) relocated to Great Falls or came back to Great Falls and absolutely LOVES their life here? We want to hear their story! We have several media/marketing opportunities coming up and we want to interview dozens of people who relocated to Great Falls. Email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org with their name and contact info.

11) Ten entrepreneurs from around Montana, including one from Texas, participated in our monthly Small Business Webinar Series presentation, Financing and Grants. If you know of someone interested in the topic of accessing capital or other previous subjects, check out the recordings posted here. In July, our Small Business Development Center (SBDC) advisors assisted clients to launch three new businesses and supported clients with 147 existing jobs throughout the region. During the last 12 months, 57% of our SBDC clients are led by women and 30% are lead by veterans. Participation in our training events is up 50%.

12) We are already planning GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings for September! Model Canvas/Value Proposition Design is the topic of our monthly webinar on Thursday, September 2nd. Boots to Business, our workshop for active military personnel looking to transition to a life of entrepreneurship is back on Thursday and Friday, September 9 & 10. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for budding entrepreneurs is back on Thursday, September 9. And wrapping up the month is our popular Website Bootcamp: Website in a Day in Lewistown on Tuesday, September 28.

13) Help us assess market demand for more child care services in the Great Falls area. Take this brief survey then send the survey link to your employees, colleagues and friends. The survey closes this Friday, and we want as many responses as possible to add breadth and depth to our data!

14) We deliver print copies of the Great Falls Livability talent attraction magazine around town every Friday – if you would like copies of this great recruitment tool, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org

version anytime!

15) Check out RFP for a Housing Market Demand Assessment and an the RFQ for Web Design Services we have posted. Our reach is limited, so please pass these along to personal connections and prospective consultants.

16) We have four brownfield cleanups and three hazardous material property assessments underway. Contact Lillian Sunwall if you need help assessing a property for redevelopment in Cascade County; LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

17) As part of our efforts to increase entrepreneurship in the Great Falls region, we joined with 24 other economic development organizations across the country to partner with the International Economic Development Council to submit an application for the SBA Navigator pilot program. GFDA was accepted into membership in the Angel Capital Association. Connecting entrepreneurs, businesses, and real estate developers with the equity they need will be an increasing part of our work.

18) GFDA Investors elected Roy Alexander of VisionNet to the Board of Directors. Dr. Stephanie Erdmann, Dean and CEO of Great falls College MSU joined the Board. The GFDA Board elected officers for the new fiscal year: Chair, Mark Macek of Macek Properties; Vice Chair, Errol Rice of Transystems; Treasurer, Mark Cappis of Cappis Consulting & Tax; Secretary, Forrest Ehlinger of Benefis Health System; and, Immediate Past Chair, Len Watkins of Gusto Distributing.

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls Montana region. Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”
Bobby Unser

We are HUNGRY to Grow the Great Falls regional economy, create higher wage jobs, build our tax base, improve our market competitiveness, and enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity for residents of Great Falls, Cascade County, and the entire 13-county Great Falls trade area.

Edition 498


Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area. Our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout. Here is our our Quarterly Investor Letter.

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available
If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org

August SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.863%; 20-year at 2.744%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.591%; and, 20-year refinance 2.787%; 25-year refinance 2.904%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

The Great Falls Livability 2021 digital workforce recruitment magazine has been released. If you’d like some print versions of this awesome talent attraction tool, contact Talent Attraction Director Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 836-0147. Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.

Top 10 – 8/1/2021

I’ve been enjoying Downtown Great Falls and watching all of the new things underway, including renovations of the historic Civic Center, the new unique homes built by Geranios Enterprises, the new Metropolitan Building storefront for Mountain Wave Distilling and Brush Crazy, the KellerGeist beer garden, the Northern Lofts above Mighty Mo, the 4th of July Hootenanny, and a sneak peek looking out from the stage of the Newberry event center!!!

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 20 for the last five weeks celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

Promise I will be back to weekly from here on out!

1) The Kaboom Family Fun Center opened in Great Falls; see KRTV. Excavation started in West Bank Landing for Jersey Mike’s. The Kona Ice food truck opened; see KRTV. The City of Great Falls started construction on the facade renovations to the historic Civic Center downtown. The Great Falls Wayfinding project has been bid with plans to install the signs by this November. Big Sky Select Properties, a Great Falls based Opportunity Zone Fund, opened the Northern Lofts in downtown Great Falls.

2) High Plains Financial approved an SBA 504 loan that will support a Montana company that is expanding their business in Great Falls. They will be able to take advantage of fixed interest rates for 25 years and will only have to make a 15% down payment on their new building and equipment for their expansion. If you’re considering expanding your business and would prefer not to spend all of your working capital on a down payment please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

3) The Wild Hare is coming to Downtown Great Falls! Check out the video announcement and KRTV story. The former Lobby Bar location is undergoing a major, phased renovation with phase one bringing a tequila bar, among other things. NeighborWorks Great Falls plans to renovate a downtown building in pursuit of Permanent Supportive Housing! Check out the video announcement. The Baatz Building located at 400 2nd Ave S will be renovated into approximately 24 apartment units with the ground floor housing service providers. Looking to be a part of the revitalization in Downtown Great Falls? Contact Christian to discuss your project (406) 836-0136 or CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org.

4) Our labor force continues to recover from the pandemic. In June, the Great Falls MSA labor force grew to 38,359, an increase of 1,511 since March (Montana Department of Labor). We were just shy of our pre-pendemic labor force of 38,493 in February 2020. Employment was 36,884, an improvement of 1,623 since March, but still below the 37,050 employed in February 2020. As more people get back to looking for work, the unemployment rate increased from 3.1% in May to 3.8% in June — good news for area employers.

5) Submitted several potential sites for a large food processing operation request for information. This lead came through the state. We are getting more and more inquiries but we don’t know about all the available sites in our region. Please make sure your commercial building or property is listed with a commercial broker and up on LoopNet. We also feature available sites/properties on our website. Not only will this make you more successful, but it will help Great Falls be more competitive. Call Jolene to chat further, 406-750-4481.

6) Help us assess market demand for more child care services in the Great Falls area. Take this brief survey then send the survey linkto your employees, colleagues and friends.

7) How do we increase access to high speed internet in the Great Falls region? Join us for Development Coffee Friday, August 6th at 7:00AM in-person at NeighborWorks Great Falls, or via Zoom, for a discussion on Broadband. For questions and zoom login information, contact Jolene at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org.

8) We released a business development video featuring ADF Groupsteel fabricators and why they chose to expand to Great Falls Montana. We also released a video featuring Pasta Montana and its Japanese parent company, NIPPN. We issued our Quarterly Investor Letter. Here is an updated Growth Highlights for the Great Falls Montana Trade Area.

9) Upcoming GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings: The LaunchPoint, our catch-all class for fresh entrepreneurs is back this Tuesday, August 3rd. Financing and Grants is the topic for our monthly webinar this Thursday, August 5th.

10) The Great Falls City Commission approved the creation of three new tax increment financing programs to spur private investment in downtown Great Falls. Own a downtown business, or curious about the new Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) programs? Join us Tuesday, August 10th at 7:30AM at Al Banco for an in-person Q&A with Great Falls city staff as well as staff from the Downtown Development Partnership to learn more about how your business can benefit from these new opportunities. For questions, contact Christian at CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org.

11) SBA approved a $517,000 SBA 504 loan through High Plains Financial as part of a $1,257,500 total project package for the purchase of commercial real estate. This business owner realized that it would cost less monthly purchasing their building, rather than just leasing it. If your business needs assistance with financing to start, innovate or expand please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or at JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

12) Our Hot Jobs in Great Falls: July 2021 blog has been published. This monthly blog features jobs people would pack up and relocate for. Visit the link and share with friends or family who you think would love it in Great Falls. This Hot Jobs blog series is part of our talent attraction plan to help employers bring high quality talent to our community. Are you hiring a job position that is high-level, high-salary, and/or out-of-the-box/unique/creative for which a person might relocate to Great Falls? Email Talent Attraction Director Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org a one sentence description of the job, 3-5 of your company’s top employee benefits, salary (if listed), and link to apply for your job to be potentially included in the August Hot Jobs in Great Falls blog post.

13) Jersey Mike’s Subs is coming to Great Falls! Check out the video announcement and see KRTV. This will be the franchise’s first Great Falls location and will be in West Bank Landing. Want to learn more about the Great Falls market? Give Jolene a call at (406) 750-4481.

14) GovMatch 2021, held on July 27th, is in the books. This is an annual event for Montana PTAC, but this is the first year that a virtual format was attempted. Despite a few technical glitches, it was a very productive and successful event. There was positive feedback from attendees throughout the day. They expressed how much they appreciated the opportunity to explore new possibilities and learn more about how to do business with Federal, State, Local agencies and large Prime Contractors. They were also very happy that many agencies offered to meet with attendees one on one on another day. There were about 130 registrations. For follow up information or to find out which agencies are open to additional one on one meetings, reach out to SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org.

15) We engaged with future entrepreneurs at the Malmstrom Career & Education Fair on Malmstrom Air Force Base. The event was attended by Air Force Enlisted, Officers and Spouses. We were also able to network with other businesses in attendance about Talent Attraction. Overall, the event was super successful and were looking forward to the event in 2022!

16) Do you want to spread the word about great things going on in Great Falls? Use your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram account to get engaged! If you’d like to receive an email notification every time we post on @LiveinGreatFalls social media, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org with the words “Opt-In” and she will add you to the social media notification list.

17) Welcome to Jake Clark and Jenn Gallmeier, our two new GFDA team members! Jake joins our Business Development Team. He will be meeting with businesses to learn about them and their needs, both existing businesses in our market and businesses we are trying to attract to our community. Jake can be reached at Jake@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406.403.4937. Jenn is our new Investment Director. She will be working with our amazing investors and prospective investors. jenn can be reached at Jenn@GrowGreatfalls.org or 406-781-9499.

18) The Great Falls Livability magazine is a great talent attraction tool. Share the digital link on your social media accounts and with candidates considering relocation. Talent Attraction Director Soren will be delivering print versions of the magazine around town during the first week of August. If you’d like to REQUEST copies, email Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org with the number of copies you’d like.

19) We have issued an RFP for social media marketing for talent attraction. If you are a firm who specializes in social media marketing, please consider submitting a proposal to work with us to grow the population of Great Falls. If you know of a great social media marketing firm, please let Soren know at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org or pass along our RFP directly to the firm.

20) We have issued an RFP for a Housing Market Demand Assessment. And, we have issued an RFQ for Web Design Services. Please pass these along to prospective consultants.

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls Montana region. Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”
Confucius

We are HUNGRY to Grow the Great Falls regional economy, create higher wage jobs, build our tax base, improve our market competitiveness, and enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity for residents of Great Falls, Cascade County, and the entire 13-county Great Falls trade area.

Edition 497


Here is our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout.

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available

If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org

June SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.883%; 20-year at 2.764%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.612%; and, 20-year refinance 2.807%; 25-year refinance 2.924%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Exhibitor applications are open for the 2021 Made in Montana Tradeshow. The show will take place September 10 and 11, 2021 at the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds in Helena. Only active members will be considered for the Tradeshow. Check to see if your membership is up to date by searching your business in the Product Directory. If you can’t find your listing, send an email to madeinmontana@mt.gov with your business name. Save the date for the 2022 Made in Montana Tradeshow — March 11-12, 2022 in Helena.

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

The Great Falls Livability 2021 digital workforce recruitment magazine has been released. If you’d like some print versions of this awesome talent attraction tool, contact Talent Attraction Director Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 836-0147. Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.

Top 10 – 6/28/2021

Congratulations to Cesar and Heidi Morales of Cut Bank, owners of the Los Tacos de Montana street taco business that has started selling authentic street tacos on the East Side of Glacier National Park! The business will operate on the Many Glacier Road near Babb during the summer and will also serve their tacos from time to time at the Cut Bank Creek Brewery.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 28 for the last four weeks celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

Apologies for such a long break in our Top 10’s. We’ve been incredibly busy with multiple prospect visits, helping clients get deals put together, and pursuing new opportunities.

1) Over the past several weeks, we have hosted visits from multiple primary sector prospects. It’s been my most exciting month since joining GFDA almost 15 years ago!

GFDA will be closed the week of July 5th. In recognition of the outstanding work our team has done this fiscal year, I’ve given our staff the week off so they can recharge and come back hard charging into our new fiscal year.

2) The proposed expansion of Downtown Tax Increment Financing eligible programs has raised questions on prevailing wage – or commonly referred to as Davis Bacon wages. Join us at 4 PM on Wednesday, June 30, via zoom as the Deputy City Attorney Jeff Hindoien helps us understand the implications. This half hour session will be recorded and shared for those unable to attend in person. Click here for the Zoom. Meeting ID 895 1998 6381 and passcode of 423225.

3) Did you miss the ground breaking of Arc last week? Check out the highlights here.

4) Heartland Forward ranked Great Falls as the 11th best metro area in the nation for Average Annual Pay Growth (based on 2013-2017 data). Montana was name the most patriotic state in the nation by Wallet Hub. Great Falls was once again named the most patriotic city in Montana by Insurify.

5) We closed a $316,420 gap loan package to The Newberry, the new state of the art entertainment and concert venture under construction in Downtown Great Falls. Many thanks to Ryan Fritz from Citizens Alliance Bank for partnering up to help make this happen. If your business needs assistance with financing to start, grow or innovate, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

6) Lifestyle’s Haute Hive Co-Working Space celebrated their grand opening. Check out the video announcement and see KRTV. Not only will the renovated building house Lifestyle Real Estate Firm’sexpanded office, but will also offer executive officers, semi-private offices, co-working space, conference rooms, and more in Downtown Great Falls. Looking to be a part of the revitalization in Downtown Great Falls? Call Jolene to discuss your project; (406) 750-4481.

7) Had a new Agri-processing client in town this week looking for a site. We have several manufacturing projects looking for industrial space between 5,000-50,000 square feet. That will be the topic of our next Development Coffee this Friday, July 2, at 7 AM. Click hereto Zoom In!

8) Virtual delivery of our training events continues to broaden the exposure of GFDA to wider and wider audiences. This month, military veterans from Atlanta, Austin (TX), Rhode Island, and Dallas joined our Boots to Business: An Introduction to Entrepreneurship training with transitioning service members from Malmstrom Air Force Base. Special thanks to our guest speakers, Beth Blessing of Beth Blessing Realty and Remax and Jeff Miser of Mountain Wave Distilling. Beth and Jeff are two military veterans who volunteered their time to share entrepreneurship experiences with workshop attendees.

9) Glacier Property Group announced the purchase of a large vacant commercial building in downtown Cut Bank and is under contract for another. The real-estate development company has plans to renovate and develop both properties. Read the full story at the Cut Bank Pioneer Press.

10) We have been busy helping small business learn the new SAM.GOV website and apply for certification with SBA as a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and 8A Set-Asides. Are you ready for the upcoming MT PTAC Virtual GovMatch 2021 in July? Even though the registration in not open yet, make sure your company is ready to meet one on one with buyers from federal, state and local agencies in a virtual “booth.” So how do you get ready? Contact your Great Falls PTAC to make sure the action steps are finished in order to complete your VIRTUAL “profile” once registration is open.  Your PTAC Advisor is ready to assist with the action steps. Contact Shannon Clancy at SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org or 406-590-1184. You don’t want to miss out on this great opportunity.

11) Worked with an agri-processing company who has been buying grain in the Golden Triangle for years but has realized it makes better business sense to also process here. They are seeking a 30k square foot food grade manufacturing facility. While we recommend they work with a broker, we routinely get these requests. Please make sure your properties and buildings are listed on LoopNet and with an area broker. Reach out to Jolene to discuss, 406.750.4481.

12) Jennifer Reed owner of Glacier Drip Coffee officially opened her mobile coffee trailer for business along the east entrance to Glacier National Park. Last summer, Jennifer applied for and won one of the highly competitive Indian Equity Fund Grants, which helped her with the purchase of her new coffee tailer.  Currently Glacier Drip is open on the corner of West Shore Drive and Highway 89 in St. Mary.  The Indian Equity Fund application for 2021 opens on July 1st. If you are an enrolled tribal member and need help applying, contact Rich Gannon at 406-836-2078 or email RGannon@GrowGreatFalls.org.

13) We have an entrepreneur interested in taking our cash flow and profitability workshop, Profit Mastery. So we are looking for at least a few more interested participants before scheduling the course. If you are professional seeking continuing education credits or are an entrepreneur wanting to get a better grasp on financial statements, this two-day course is worth considering. Every decision a business owner makes has a financial impact. We believe Profit Mastery provides excellent insight and tools into a business’ cash and profit cycles. Please contact Jason Nitschke to indicate your interest in participating in this course at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.org.

14) Image Jewelry Design, owned by Craig Williams, has officially launched. Based in Great Falls, Mr. Williams is designing, producing, and selling high quality jewelry through his e-commerce platform. Jason and Rich provided startup, financial planning, and website design assistance. Thank you to Matt McKamey at Opportunity Bank for this referral.

15) Working with several companies looking to located in the Golden Triangle. We work behind the scenes to help companies put the puzzle pieces in place for them to locate here. This includes connecting with local officials, building capital stacks, site location advising, working with local utilities, supply chain support, and overall business concierge services. Know a business that should be here? Call Jolene at 406.750.54481.

16) Attention, Contract Opportunity! We were contacted by a contracting officer with the US Forest Service who is having trouble getting businesses to bid on a contract for janitorial service at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. If this fits with your business, contact Lillian Sunwall for more information at LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

17) We hosted two webinars for Realtors called “Closing More Sales to Out of Town Homebuyers — Tools and Resources to Attract New Residents.” We shared some of our talent attraction tools and resources that could help this key group of people assist us in our mission to grow the population of Great Falls!

18) Governor Greg Gianforte has launched a remote worker talent attraction campaign! Visit the new Come Home Montana website. This state-wide campaign will perfectly complement our local talent attraction efforts here in Great Falls. Share the Come Home Montana website and the Live in Great Falls website with your family and friends!

19) SAM.Gov has merged with beta.SAM.gov as of May 24th. If you have tried to login to your registration at the new site and are having trouble, contact Shannon Clancy at SClancy@GrowGreatFalls.org. She can guide you through the new process and help keep you active.

20) Soren and I had a kickoff meeting with Livability Media regarding the upcoming year’s Great Falls Livability talent attraction marketing program. If our Livability Media representative John Waltz reaches out, we encourage you to have a conversation with him and see how your advertising support of the publication will help bring talented workers to Great Falls!

21) Upcoming GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings: Looking to increase sales and develop repeat customers? Sign up for a free one-on-one consultation with retail/restaurant/event business guru Barbara Wold.

22) Our great city of Great Falls was mentioned several times in a Roadtrippers.com article, “An insider’s guide to exploring the Missouri River in Central Montana.” Read it, share it, and let’s get some excitement buzzing about our community!

23) Have you ever taken the time to identify your target consumer(s), or do you just guess and hope for the best? Our newest business technical brief, the Customer Discovery Checklist will walk you through a proven process to identify your target consumer(s). This and other technical briefs are available for download on our website with no strings attached, with more to come!

24) We hosted one of the project managers from our talent attraction consultant team DCI this month and she loved Great Falls! She was very impressed with the diversity our downtown entrepreneurs, great breweries and ACCESS to all types of outdoor adventures and left excited to keep helping us grow Great Falls.

25) Christian took the International Economic Development Council’s Marketing and Business Attraction course. He was able to connect with over 50 other industry professionals and learned some best practices we can implement here in our own market. We always encourage our team to pursue professional development and this course will count towards this team member becoming a Certified Economic Developer. I enjoyed teaching parts of the Council of Development Finance Agencies’ Revolving Loan Fund online course last week.

26) GFDA won a $1.28 million loan capital grant from the CDFI Fund’s Rapid Response Program. We also secured a $1 million loan capital loan commitment from CNote. NeighborWorks Montana has agreed to purchase a $250,000 participation in our bridge loan package for construction of The Arc 218-unit workforce housing development.

27) As we gear up for our new fiscal year that starts on July 1st, we have signed a renewal to our downtown business development partnership agreement with the Great Falls Business Improvement District, signed a two year agreement with the Montana Department of Agriculture for our Great Falls Food & Ag Development Center, signed a year extension of our business attraction account-based marketing lead generation work with DCI, and signed a year contract for lead generation with Global Site Selection Industries. We have also executed agreements with Common Goals Software to implement a new loan portfolio management system that will enable us to offer online loan applications and tracking, a contract with Friedman Associates to help us update our lending policies and procedures, and a contract with Barber Business Advisors to engage in a new economic development strategic planning initiative.

28) Staci Cambell started work as our newest Lending Associate. We are excited to announce that Jake Clark, current Dean of Students of the University of Providence, will be joining the GFDA team in July as a Business Development Officer. Welcome Jake!

I’ll catch up with more great stuff in our next Top 10 on Monday.

Stay cool and have a great week and a fantastic Independence Day!!!

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls Montana region. Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Stephen Covey

We are HUNGRY to Grow the Great Falls regional economy, create higher wage jobs, build our tax base, improve our market competitiveness, and enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity for residents of Great Falls, Cascade County, and the entire 13-county Great Falls trade area.

Edition 496


Here is our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout.

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available
If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org

June SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.883%; 20-year at 2.764%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.612%; and, 20-year refinance 2.807%; 25-year refinance 2.924%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

GFDA has a great career opportunities — Investment Director (Fundraising). Download pdf describing the opening in more detail. GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities

Exhibitor applications are open for the 2021 Made in Montana Tradeshow. The show will take place September 10 and 11, 2021 at the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds in Helena. Only active members will be considered for the Tradeshow. Check to see if your membership is up to date by searching your business in the Product Directory. If you can’t find your listing, send an email to madeinmontana@mt.gov with your business name. Save the date for the 2022 Made in Montana Tradeshow — March 11-12, 2022 in Helena.

Beginning July 1, the City of Great Falls will be accepting small works roster applications from contractors and vendors for several categories of work. A full list of service categories, the application and additional information ca be found at: https://greatfallsmt.net/planning/small-works-roster.

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

The Great Falls Livability 2021 digital workforce recruitment magazine has been released. If you’d like some print versions of this awesome talent attraction tool, contact Talent Attraction Director Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 836-0147. Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.

Top 10 – 6/1/2021

We launched a Bring a Friend to Great Falls campaign with the Great Falls Voyagers – keep an eye out this summer when you’re at the stadium! We also have an Out of Town Fan of the Game for every game. The purpose of this campaign is to engage the community in recruiting friends, family, and colleagues to relocate to Great Falls. Send a virtual postcard on the Live in Great Falls website.

GFDA’s Top 10

Here is our Top 14 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) We met with the Provost of Touro College to begin planning recruitment assistance for the Medical School’s faculty, staff and students. Touro has added a one-year 70 student Masters program to its Great Falls plan.

2) Seven businesses learned about Dr. Deborah Smith Cook’s tips for attracting remote workers in our weekly workforce webinar series. If you want to catch up on the series you can see our recaps on our website. You can also register for the entire series. Dr. Cook will be back on June 8th at 9 AM to discuss managing remote workers.

3) The entrepreneurs behind Great Falls’ wildly successful Tracy’s Diner are back at it with their newest venture Street Burgers. Check out the video announcement. By their grand opening on June 18th, they plan to employ 40 workers earning top wages in the food service industry. The Great Falls region is HUNGRY for new, innovative businesses, give Jolene a call to discuss your projects; (406) 750-4481

4) Our pipeline of deals is expanding weekly! This week our team worked on several project and leads. One new lead is a light manufacturer from Canada. This company specifically wants a location on the US side of the border in response to pandemic border closures and a growing US market.

5) Ulm School students and community leaders broke ground on the new BlueHawk Park; see KRTV. A movie called “The Ploughmen” featuring Robert Duvall, garret Hedlund and Amy Madigan is being filed in Ft. Benton; see KRTV.

6) How do we spark more housing development in Great Falls? That’s the focus for the June GFDA Development Coffee. Zoom in on Friday, June 4, at 7 AM. Click here for the Zoom Link. Meeting ID: 865 1217 4728 Pass: Maj9bz Questions? Call Jolene at 406.750.4481.

7) The Montana Department of Labor & Industry has Incumbent Worker Training Program funds available to help pay for workforce training. The current grant cycle will end with the state’s fiscal year; you have until June 20th to apply, and the training you are applying for must begin before June 30th. If your training begins after June 30th, you should wait until the next grant cycle to apply for funds.We can help work through the process.

8) We were notified late Friday that a catalyst Downtown Great Falls project will be moving forward. Progress had slowed down due to the pandemic, but the entrepreneur never gave up. We should see some new construction happening in Downtown Great Falls soon! If your project has stalled due to rising construction costs or some other speed bump, contact Christian at 406.836.0136 or CLeinhauser@GrowGreatFalls.org and lets discuss a game plan to move your project forward.

9) The quarterly cost of living index by C2ER placed Great Falls’ cost of living at 90.5% of the national average, a 0.7% increase over last quarter. We are still well below the national average and 19% less than Bozeman – let’s work to keep it that way! To see a cost of living comparison of Great Falls to other US cities, check out the Cost of Living Calculator on the new Live in Great Falls talent attraction website.

10) Lots of upcoming GFDA entrepreneur/business convenient virtual trainings: Looking to increase sales and develop repeat customers? Sign up for a free one-on-one consultation with retail/restaurant/event business guru Barbara Wold. The LaunchPoint, our catch-all workshop for those looking to start a business is back on June 2. June’s webinar is all about e-commerce: is your website laid out to generate maximum sales? Boots to Business, our pre-business workshop for entrepreneurial military personnel is back on June 17th and 18th.

11) The 2.0 version of the LiveinGreatFalls.com website is live – if you haven’t had a chance to check it out, do so here. We average about 80 unique views per day and we want to keep that ever increasing, so share Great Falls with your friends and family!

12) Looking to buy or sell a business? Ever considered crowdfunding to jumpstart that venture? Needing to bring on employees, but not sure the correct way to do so? These are just some of the topics covered in our new business technical briefs. In the coming months we will be publishing a host of topics designed to make your business successful – available for download on our website with no strings attached.

13) Check out these upcoming training from our partners: Montana DPHHS is offering a course on Understanding the Cottage Food Law on June 3rd at 10:30 AM MST. The Prospera Business Network in partnership with One Valley Community Foundation are hosting a workshop entitled Power Up Your Nonprofit: Create your Business, Financial, Fundraising & Marketing Plan starting June 3.

14) Please welcome our new lending college intern, Kenadee Chartier. Kenadee is a Financial Engineering major at MSU Bozeman with a Agricultural minor and has an anticipated graduation date of May 2022. Kenadee is rooted in Montana with her family ranch in Centerville, MT and plans to stay in the area after graduation.

Have a great week!

Brett Doney
President & CEO

Connect with me on LinkedIn to network with the Great Falls Montana region. Forward the GFDA Top 10 to friends and colleagues. You can join our distribution list HERE or text GFDA to 22828.

“America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor.”
Paul Tsongas

We are HUNGRY to Grow the Great Falls regional economy, create higher wage jobs, build our tax base, improve our market competitiveness, and enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity for residents of Great Falls, Cascade County, and the entire 13-county Great Falls trade area.

Edition 495


Here is our Menu of Services and Staff Team handout.

Cost-Effective Rail-Served Industrial Sites Available
If your company needs a rail-served, BNSF-Certified, shovel-ready site with all municipal services at your door, we have lots available for immediate construction in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Contact Jolene Schalper at 1.406.750.4481 or JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org

May SBA 504 Loan Rates
The 25-year loan effective rate came in at 2.933%; 20-year at 2.845%; 10-year equipment loan at 2.612%; and, 20-year refinance 2.887%; 25-year refinance 2.974%. These rates are FIXED for the life of the loan and are inclusive of all fees. If you would like to find out how to get financing for commercial real estate and equipment at potentially lower rates than you’re paying for your home mortgage, please contact Jill Kohles at 406-590-1056 or JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org.

GFDA has a great career opportunities — Investment Director (Fundraising). Download pdf describing the opening in more detail. GFDA has launched a College Intern Program starting with five paid internship opportunities. Download application. Help us spread the word!

Invest in Great Falls Regional Economic Development
Contact Brett Doney at 406-750-2119 or BDoney@GrowGreatFalls.org. Here is a current list of our great investors.


Events, Business Training, and Opportunities
Do you need additional working capital? The SBA has increased the EIDL loan limit to the lesser of 24 months of working capital or $500,000. If you have questions, contact Nathan Reiff at 406-403-4937 or NReiff@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Exhibitor applications are open for the 2021 Made in Montana Tradeshow. The show will take place September 10 and 11, 2021 at the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds in Helena. Only active members will be considered for the Tradeshow. Check to see if your membership is up to date by searching your business in the Product Directory. If you can’t find your listing, send an email to madeinmontana@mt.gov with your business name. Save the date for the 2022 Made in Montana Tradeshow — March 11-12, 2022 in Helena.

Beginning July 1, the City of Great Falls will be accepting small works roster applications from contractors and vendors for several categories of work. A full list of service categories, the application and additional information ca be found at: https://greatfallsmt.net/planning/small-works-roster.

Looking to take control of your business’s financials, increase profit, and improve your bottom line? We have had interest from businesses in scheduling a Profit Mastery course. These courses are scheduled by demand. If you are interested in taking this two-day workshop, contact Jason Nitschke at JNitschke@GrowGreatFalls.orgor call (406) 750-0314.

The Montana Young Professional Summit will be held June 9-10 in Sydney. Montana Young Professional provides career development, networking, and community engagement opportunities aimed at professionals aged 21-39.

Pro-tip: Post positivity! When you’re using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and share something positive about Great Falls, tag @LiveinGreatFalls or @GrowGreatFallsMontana. We will like and share your posts. Follow our talent attraction effort, Live in Great Falls, on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and follow the Great Falls Development Authority to help us attract entrepreneurs and business investment on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

You are facing tough decisions right now. We’ve developed toolkits to help you decide what is best for your business. Toolkits include: Crisis Toolkit, Hibernation Toolkit, Business Resiliency Guide, Re-Opening Toolkit, and a Child Care Whitepaper. All of these can be found on our website.

The Great Falls Livability 2021 digital workforce recruitment magazine has been released. If you’d like some print versions of this awesome talent attraction tool, contact Talent Attraction Director Soren at Soren@GrowGreatFalls.org or (406) 836-0147. Visit our relocation website LiveInGreatFalls.com. This website was the #1 request we got from local recruiters and HR professionals for aiding in attracting talented workers to Great Falls. The Great Falls At-A-Glance two-pager is a great complementary resource that highlights Great Falls for people unfamiliar with our community.

We have Brownfield Clean-Up money that we want to put to work! Our low interest Brownfield Loans can be used to clean up hazardous materials including but not limited to lead paint, asbestos, etc. Are you working on a project that could use some clean up? Call Lillian today to discuss eligibility 406.750.1253 or LSunwall@GrowGreatFalls.org.

Manufacturers, if you’re not engaged with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center hosted by MSU, you’re missing out on powerful resources, services, and networking. MMEC clients report cost savings of $160.3 million, new investment of $328.4 million, $1.3 billion in new and retained sales, and 6,186 new and retained jobs since 2000. We’re proud to host an MMEC business adviser who covers the Golden Triangle region. Contact Doug Roberts at richard.roberts4@montana.edu or (937) 489-3985.

Of our online business planning tool, LivePlan, one said: “LivePlan is Awesome!” The LivePlan tool is helping her streamline her strategy in preparation for presenting to bank partners. We offer LivePlan licenses for free to active clients. Learn more about LivePlan on our website.

All of our recorded monthly business strategy webinars are available online for viewing anytime, click them out here.